Kamilla mother of Xavier ‘PinkStig Cub’

Pink Stig Inivational 2016 Sun City – Views from a parent Kamilla Swart-Arrries (mother of Xavier Arries, 12 years old)

Thank you to the Unimedia team for launching such an exciting and commendable initiative to level the playing fields for women’s golf in South Africa.

After meeting Sally Little at her book launch in October 2016 in Cape Town as a result of a career school project Xavier did which included interviewing Sally via email earlier in the year, the Invitational must go down as a highlight of Xavier’s year.

Xaviar and her mom meets sally Little at her book launch
Xavier and her mom meets sally Little at her book launch

She is an aspiring golfer and this event gave her the opportunity not only to meet the pros but also to play, interact and learn from them. She also received a few pointers from Sally during a practice session just prior to the Invitational which has made a difference to her approach.  Sally is truly inspirational and having her involved in Xavier’s golf development is immeasurable. Meeting other young golfers and amateurs also contributed to the experience of being immersed in a programme that recognises their potential for greatness.

PinkStig Cubs with Francesca Cuturi
PinkStig Cubs with Francesca Cuturi

The Pink Stig Cub programme provides a platform for young girl golfers to be exposed to the pros on a one-on-one basis and serves as aspiration for the Cubs. It also creates an opportunity for a pro to “adopt a Cub” on a club/regional/provincial level thus the programme has the potential to be rolled out as a national campaign and differentiates itself from a stereotypical “development” initiative (which I don’t believe this is or should be).

Sally Little working with Xavier at the PinkStig Invitational, Lost City Golf Course, Sun City

Xavier’s dad, Pierre Arries, adds that the Pink Stig initiative is ambitious (and rightly so) in its objectives given the fact that women’s golf is extremely marginalised compared to men’s golf in South Africa, i.e. less tournaments, less exposure, less corporate sponsorship, etc. yet these “obstacles” should be seen as opportunities rather than insurmountable challenges.

Xavier signing a PinkStig Cap
Xavier signing a PinkStig Cap

It is encouraging to see a corporate like Sun International stepping up to the plate and leading by example. One can only hope that others will sit up and take notice and soon follow suit.

A holistic approach to nurturing aspiring golfers is required so that we can develop many more “Sally Little’s” in the future and the Pink Stig initiative followed through by Unimedia is well on it’s way to bring about the tsunami of change for women’s golf in South Africa.

Thank you again Unimedia.

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